Note: It was my birthday some time back. The night preceding my day, I was out with some friends. I woke up with a numbing headache and a camera roll with contents I could not explain. I didn’t actually do anything exciting in the day. I was on calls; I cried a little. I did a bit of work too. Then, in the night, I went out for dinner by myself. I was just me, a couple plates of food, my earphones and my notebook. I had no plans to write anything specific – just free-write whatever came to me. This post is the free-write. It’s no artistic marvel, neither has it tapped into some new complex emotion that I must file a copyright for immediately. It’s just a little record of a very nice night.
It begins weird
cringy, but definitely gets better at the end, lmao. Lots of breaks between passages, beware.
It’s your birthday. You’re twenty. You’re at a restaurant by yourself at the Prudential Centre. You made yourself an appointment for the COVID-19 vaccine. Some big adult shit right there. You felt so powerful then, didn’t you? I guess that’s what I’ll be feeling for a while now, at least until the novelty of being older fades and the responsibility comes to the forefront.
I am at dinner by myself. I’m a little cold; my feet are a little sore. I might ask her to get me some tea. It’s a party for one. I love my handwriting so much. This is some good quality literature right here.
I guess I’m what I’m trying to write that big birthday piece – the one I do every year where I look back, reflect, introspect and make bad jokes about my life. But that’s just not coming to me today, right now.
I don’t know why, but it’s alright. Not having a thesis for this past year and the year to come is something by itself too. My only worry is that the waitress will ask me to leave. I don’t want to go. This moment is so beautiful. I want to hold onto it so tight it gets blood gushing through its face. Ignore her, she’s ovulating this week.
I love being at places alone. There’s something so nice and peaceful and liberating. A girl in the dress with the messy hair. She’s grateful for the kind waitress. She’s grateful to have this moment. The day was a little strange and weird, but I’m loving the way the night is turning out. It’s not lavish, but it’s lovely. I hate that that’s the word I used. It’s because he said it, isn’t it? He wished you. You sent a green heart back.
Everyone here is on dates. It’s cute. There’s makeup on her arms and a glow in another’s eyes. Love in the early stages is definitely something I miss. All the asking and the awkwardness. I miss that. Do I want that? Can I still take that?
Dinners by yourself are underrated. I think everyone should do it. The table’s for four, but it doesn’t feel that big to me. I’ve not taken up every square inch of the wood, but I’m very comfortable with the space I have.
I’m glad that I can listen to “Party for One” again. God, it used to be so hard. I remember once I couldn’t breathe. But now it plays and I start to dance a little. I remember the day I heard it for the first time again. It was the first Friday of April. I felt like I was breeze.
I got myself that cup of tea. Of course, I did. Initially just because I was cold and wanted something warm to hold, but now I’m glad it is here. It’s presence makes me feel better.
I’m so overwhelmed. There’s people from the waitstaff and they came over with my cheesecake with sparkles and singing. They made the entire restaurant sing for me.
The cheesecake is good, too. I’m just stuffed. I will give such a big tip. Like 30% or more. I’m so moved. A friend once said to me “sometimes you feel like you only live your yourself and then something reminds you otherwise.” Even though no one in my life was involved in this moment, this felt like one of those things.
I can see the moon straight from where I’m sitting. It’s all perfectl. I’m not alone at dinner. The moon is here.
I don’t want this moment to end, but it’s okay. She just gave me the cheque. I didn’t ask for it. But it’s okay. I’ll go use the restroom and then walk back home. The walk will be beautiful too. I’m a little worried I’ll catch covid, but I’m getting vaccinated tomorrow, so I guess it’ll be alright?
This was beautiful. All that crying in the afternoon amounted to this. You know, in hindsight, this day will come off as perfect. The moon showed up. The sparklers that the waitress brought. The peppers in the calamari. “Party for One” on repeat. This stupid notebook. Everything is good and beautiful and perfect. I really ate as if I’ve got the stomach of three. I don’t think I can walk. Honestly I don’t even want to . It’s crazy to think about how attention deficit/craving I was being earlier today. It’s moments like these where those seem irrational. Why would I have wanted the attention of another? The moonlight is shining through the trees I walk under. There’s a little chill over my knees. I think “Party for One” will be my most heard song of the year. There’s another girl whose birthday is today. She’s sitting across from me. She’s so beautiful. Maybe it’s just a XX April thing.
I just paid so now I have to go.
cover image: https://unsplash.com/photos/REy_bjC0Lcw